December 1, 2023


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Llamas and alpacas in Cusco Peru

2 min read

Llamas and alpacas in Cusco Peru

The first thing we notice in Cusco is the Llamas and alpacas. They are almost everywhere in all tourist hotspots from the Cusco Square to Machu Picchu.

cusco alpaca

Llamas and alpacas are both important animals in Cusco, Peru and the surrounding areas. They have been domesticated in the Andes for thousands of years and have played a vital role in the culture and economy of the region.

At the Cusco city centre, you probably seen more baby alpacas. It is usually with a lady and you need to pay them for photos. We all know the ladies will be excited seeing both of them.

cusco llama

How much you should pay them? Probably at least one Peru Soles or more. It all depends on you but they will ask for more if you paid them less.

cusco alpaca with lady

If you took the photo of their alpaca or llama, they will come to you for some money. Look, this is not a scam but how the locals make money on the street. If you don’t feel like paying, just don’t take photos of the alpaca or llama.

The only place that you don’t have to pay for photos of llama is Machu Picchu. There are a few families of llamas in Machu Picchu.

cusco llama photo

Llamas are larger than alpacas and are primarily used for carrying heavy loads and as pack animals. They are also sometimes used for their meat and wool. Llamas have a distinctive long neck and are known for their stubborn and independent nature.

Alpacas are smaller and more docile than llamas, and are primarily raised for their wool, which is highly prized for its softness and warmth. Alpaca wool is used to make a variety of clothing and textiles, including sweaters, scarves, and blankets. Alpacas have a shorter neck and are known for their gentle temperament.

tambomachay peru placeandfoods

Both llamas and alpacas are commonly seen in and around Cusco, and visitors to the region may have the opportunity to see these animals up close and even interact with them.  Some local communities offer tours and experiences that allow visitors to learn more about the role of llamas and alpacas in Andean culture and to see how their wool is processed and used in traditional textiles.

machu picchu 2023
Llama machu picchu

Tour companies will bring you to wool textile companies where they will explain and show you the entire process from wool to clothing. The prices are slightly pricey than outside market but the quality is better.

peru llama product
Clothing using llama wool

If you have a chance to visit Cusco Peru, you will be amazed by the llamas and alpacas on top of the historical sites about the Inca empire. More stories about Peru will be coming soon!

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